Sometimes it’s funny for me to look back over this blog. Since I use it mainly to talk to myself and the internet about whatever gaming thoughts and plans occur to me, without censorship, I can sometimes see unconscious patterns emerging. If I’m still doing this in another year, I might even have enough data to go back and make seasonal predictions about what I’ll do next! But then I suppose I’d just do the opposite. And it’ll all be comfortably out-of-whack again. The act of observing changes the thing observed after all.
So. I haven’t played Warhammer 40k for a long time, but it hasn’t gone away, strangely enough. Recently (and as always, with the help of my readers) I’ve come to terms with what it used to mean to me, and figured out what I want from the old beast going forwards. I still think that it’s a clunky boring game to play and that taking it seriously in any way is not something I’m interested in. So club play is out for a while. But I am willing to own that once that’s settled… well maybe I was too hasty in dismissing the entire background setting as worthless and boring and declaring that I couldn’t find anything in it to interest me at all.
As it happens Von has come to the rescue, and his excellent recent posts documenting the building of Rogue Trader lists have inspired me. I want to play some chilled out games against one of my old regular opponents, and try 7th edition on for size. But I’m going to need reinforcements. My old Imperial Guard army, the St. Arkham Rifles, have been betrayed and shattered (seeing as I er… sold half of them off). So witness their rebirth as the Six of Swords: a company of disillusioned mercenaries who will fight for anyone that pays them: human, alien or other.
They will be supplemented by way of a project I’ve been wanting to do ever since 6th edition 40k: small bands of alien allied detachments. At first I wanted to do Eldar, but yeah…I sold them too. Then I thought Orks. They’re good fun right? But I played them all through 4th edition and into 5th. I feel like I’ve done that.
You know who I’ve always wanted to have a go with though? The Tau. I never did because one of my other regular opponents was The Tau Guy, but he’s since moved away. And so my return to actually scrounging up 40k models comes in the shape of one of the newer factions. I mean, *scoff* they were never even in Rogue Trader! Which is good, because you can’t go back and I’ve changed a lot over the years. I like mechs and cyberpunk now, not so much the grim gothdark, and yes I know it’s taken me forever to notice. But there you go. So in a homage to Von’s narrative list-building (meaning I kind of stole his format), here is Hanzo, commander of the Fallingstar Cadre.
Hanzo, Commander Fallingstar
Hanzo was once a young and promising Fire Caste commander. He was building a solid reputation for bold tactics and the ability to win out under dire circumstances; though it must be said that he showed a worrying tendency to seek out such fights. Then came the disaster at the failed colony of [unnamed]: a Necron tomb erupted unexpectedly and the Tau settlers were exterminated, along with the Fire caste expedition dispatched to aid them. Fighting his way to a damaged armoured carrier ship, Hanzo managed to leave the planet with a handful of Fire Caste and from there they drifted in space until a freak warp storm swallowed them whole. The Tau ship was disgorged on the edges of Imperial space seconds later.
Hanzo and his crew never speak of what happened on their warp journey, even to one another. They survive now as mercenaries, fighting for any alien that pays and showing no interest in returning to the bosom of the Tau empire. Other Tau who have met them report that something is gone from them: the light of the Greater Good has been extinguished. Hanzo’s men whisper that he relies too much on the stimulants in his battle-suit, and that he is doomed. But their loyalty is beyond question. After all, they have already followed him into Hell and out again.
Hanzo is equipped with an XV-8 Crisis suit. He uses a plasma rifle and a missile pod (the latter will be modelled as a cannibalised Imperial autocannon), and has a couple of shield drones which I think will be fun to paint freehand pictures on. His suit has stimulant injectors, a velocity tracker so he can take on flyers, and a failsafe detonator so that when he goes down, he does so in a blaze of glory.
The first thing I’m going to need though is a Hammerhead. Just always wanted one.
Disclaimer: this might never happen. I am fickle. But it’s fun to write about.